The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94329   Message #3491935
Posted By: SaltyWalt
18-Mar-13 - 08:07 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Stowing Sugar in the Hold
Subject: RE: Origins: Stowing Sugar in the Hold
The oldest version of "Stowin' Sugar in the Hull Below" seems to be this one from Lafcadio Hearn's writings on riverside life in New Orleans and Cincinnati.

Google Books Lafcadio Hearn - Levee Life

Whose lyrics are printed earlier in this thread.

They differ significantly (especially in the chorus) from the version in the DT (lyrics further above) which was popularized by NexTradition.

Years ago I asked Ken and or Ali where they got there version and ** what I remember was ** "an old Folkways record". At the time I scoured through the catalog and found only one recording of it, by Morrigan. This led me to contact W.Pint to ask where they got it. 30 years and a band or two in between did not lend itself to him remembering.
My recent search of Smithsonian Folkways has come up with less than that. I haven't even found the track I did before, so Morrigan might not be right.

Does anyone know the history, lineage, or even folklore surrounding how the song got to the current version?
I'm beginning to suspect the longer chorus and de-vernacularizing of the version we all enjoy may be completely the product of the revival.
Does anyone have older recordings?
Does anyone have pre-revival published lyrics?
Can Anyone walk me through it's transformation, or do I finally have a paper for Mystic?

I know a number of you folks have access to archives and resources I don't, and some are just better scholars. I'm looking forward to what anyone can tell me, even just leads.